Driving Summer Spirit For Local Voluntary & Community Groups
Today, Thursday 27 May, Dublin Bus is helping to drive some hopeful, summer spirit as it announces the winners of the 2020 Community Spirit Awards. This week 65 voluntary and community groups operating around the Capital and Greater Dublin Area received the wonderful, uplifting news that they have been awarded a grant of €1,000, €2,000 or €5,000. Each year the awards provide groups with much-needed funds so that they can continue to offer vital services and raise community spirit. The full list of winning groups is available at here.
Since 2004, the Community Spirit Awards has provided funds for local community and voluntary groups across the Greater Dublin Area, allowing them to play their part in making a difference to the lives of Dubliners. This year sees five groups win the top €5,000 award, with 15 groups receiving €2,000 and a further 45 receiving €1,000. Speaking about the announcement of this year’s winners, Ray Coyne, Dublin Bus CEO said: “If the last year has shown us anything, it is that our local communities are vital to our ongoing health and wellbeing and when we come together, we can achieve so much. Dublin Bus has played its part in keeping the city and frontline workers moving, but praise needs to be given to those people and groups who have put their hearts and souls into helping others during this last year which was extremely challenging. I congratulate each and every one of today’s winning groups and I look forward to seeing all their hard work come to fruition.”
Five groups have been awarded the top Community Spirit Award grant worth €5,000, allowing them to pilot programmes, create care packages, fund family services, provide peer support, and deliver empowering activities to help build the self-confidence of children living in emergency accommodation. These five winning groups are:
ARC Cancer Support Centre (ARC), who will use the funding to introduce the first holistic family service, replicating a model already used in Northern Ireland. It will address the needs of families, starting with children, who have a significant family member, e.g. a parent, who has received a cancer diagnosis. ARC will pilot initiatives which embrace the needs of these children, teens and parents.
Coombe Care, who will use its award to provide support to families accessing care in its hospital. The project will provide approximately 400-500 women living in its catchment area, some of whom are living in emergency accommodation, with basic essentials to ensure they are able to give birth with dignity. Such essentials include toiletry care packs, towels, nightwear and underwear, baby clothes, food vouchers, car seats and Moses baskets.
Family Carers Ireland, who will fund much-valued care packages for 50 young carers from the Dublin area. A young carer is a child or young person under the age of 18 who cares for, or helps to care for, a loved one with an illness, disability, mental health issue or a drug or alcohol dependency. The care packages will include items that support positive mental health, physical fitness, stay-at-home activities, and an 'escape' from their caring roles as well as health and hygiene products.
SeniorLine, who helps older volunteers in Dublin to support older people nationwide, is Ireland’s only national dedicated peer-to-peer telephone service for older people. COVID-19 restrictions have meant that volunteers have not been able to take part in monthly in-person support and supervision, so they will use their grant to purchase smart phones for volunteers so that they can continue to receive helpline calls and also attend ongoing online training sessions which will enhance the quality of SeniorLine’s service.
Global Action Plan, who in partnership with Young Ballymun, will continue the delivery of its Nature Explorer programme for toddlers and afterschooler children living in emergency accommodation in the local Ballymun community. It aims to create a sensory space for children and parents living in emergency accommodation to safely and intuitively explore the natural world, helping them to establish confidence and trust in nature and their surroundings, and in doing so, ensuring they are physically and emotionally healthy and secure and have multiple opportunities to reach their full potential.
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